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berri 112509As expected Speaker Nabih Berri announced on Friday that his Development and Liberation bloc has decided to nominate MP Tammam Salam as the next PM to head a new government.

“The Development and Liberation bloc has decided to nominate MP Tammam Salam to head a consensual national government.” Berri said after a meeting for the bloc at his Ain el-Tineh residence.

“We hope his nomination will pave the way for a new phase in Lebanon,” he added.

“This is a new phase between the majority and opposition and we hope both sides would work for the interests of the nation,” he remarked in his brief statement.

This development comes after the March 14 alliance and Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat announced on Thursday their endorsement of Salam to head the new cabinet.

The position of the remaining key members of the March 8 camp have yet to be revealed, but it appears that they are all planning to nominate Salam with the exception of General Michel Aoun.

-Lebanese Democratic Party leader Talal Arslan already announced on Friday that he backs Salam’s bid to head new cabinet.

– Caretaker PM Nagib Mikati also announced on Friday that he will back Salam’s nomination.

“I hope he gets the majority of votes and the rival parties reach consensus on his candidacy,” Mikati said in comments published in An Nahar newspaper on Friday.

– Hezbollah’s mouthpiece Al Manar TV announced few hours ago that all March 8 forces moving toward nominating Salam as new Lebanese premier

– Aoun is expected to voice his stance later on Friday

– Al-Akhbar newspaper said a meeting was held Thursday night in Ain el-Tineh between Berri, Caretaker Ministers Ali Hassan Khalil and Jebran Bassil, and the Hezbollah leader’s political aide Hussein Khalil led to an agreement to name Salam.

The parliamentary consultations to name a new prime minister are scheduled to take place with President Michel Suleiman Friday afternoon at the Baabda Palace and will continue on Saturday.

Parliamentary sources indicated  yesterday that “the actual nomination is just the beginning of the process ,” pointing out that “Salam may be unable to form a government if things get too complicated.”

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